« السابقةمتابعة »
character, strength, and quickness of mind, are not of the number of distinctions and accomplishments, that human institutions can monopolize within a city's walls. In quiet times, they remain and perish in the obscurity, to which a 5 false organization of society consigns them. In dangerous, convulsed, and trying times, they spring up in the fields, in the village hamlets, and on the mountain tops, and teach the surprised favorites of human law, that bright eyes, skilful hands, quick perceptions, firm purpose, 10 and brave hearts, are not the exclusive appanage of
Our popular institutions are favorable to intellectual improvement, because their foundation is in dear nature. They do not consign the greater part of the social frame 15 to torpidity and mortification. They send out a vital nerve to every member of the community, by which its talent and power, great or small, are brought into living conjunction and strong sympathy with the kindred intellect of the nation; and every impression on every part 20 vibrates, with electric rapidity, through the whole. They encourage nature to perfect her work; they make education, the soul's nutriment, cheap; they bring up remote and shrinking talent into the cheerful field of competition: in a thousand ways, they provide an audience for lips, 25 which nature has touched with persuasion; they put a lyre into the hands of genius; they bestow on all who deserve it, or seek it, the only patronage worth having, the only patronage that ever struck out a spark of "celestial fire," the patronage of fair opportunity.
This is a day of improved education; new systems of teaching are devised; modes of instruction, choice of studies, adaptation of text-books, the whole machinery of means, bave been brought, in our day, under severe revision. But were I to attempt to point out the most effi35 cacious and comprehensive improvement in education, the engine, by which the greatest portion of mind could be brought and kept under cultivation, the discipline which would reach farthest, sink deepest, and cause the word of instruction not to spread over the surface, like an artificial 40 hue, carefully laid on, but to penetrate to the heart and soul of its objects, it would be popular institutions. Give the people an object in promoting education, and the best methods will infallibly be suggested by that instinctive ingenuity of our nature, which provides means for
great and precious ends. Give the people an object in promoting education, and the worn hand of labor will be opened to the last farthing, that its children may enjoy means denied to itself.
LESSON XXIII.-SUCCESS OF THE GOSPEL.-WAYLAND.
[To be marked for Inflections, by the reader.]
The assumption that the cause of Christianity is declining, is utterly gratuitous. We think it not difficult to prove that the distinctive principles we so much venerate, never swayed so powerful an influence over the destinies 5 of the human race, as at this very moment. Point us to those nations of the earth, to which moral and intellectual cultivation, inexhaustible resources, progress in arts, and sagacity in council, have assigned the highest rank in political importance; and you point us to nations, whose re 10 ligious opinions are most closely allied to those we cherish. Besides, when was there a period, since the days of the Apostles, in which so many converts have been made to these principles, as have been made, both from Christian and pagan nations, within the last five and 15 twenty years? Never did the people of the saints of the Most High, look so much like going forth in serious earnest, to take possession of the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, as at this very day.
But suppose the cause did seem declining, we should see no reason to relax our exertions, for Jesus Christ has said, Preach the gospel to every creature; and appearances, whether prosperous or adverse, alter not the obligation to obey a positive command of Almighty God. 25 Again, suppose all that is affirmed were true. If it must be, let it be. Let the dark cloud of infidelity overspread Europe, cross the ocean, and cover our beloved land,-let nation after nation swerve from the faith,-let iniquity abound, and the love of many wax cold, even until there 30 is on the face of this earth, but one pure church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, all we ask is, that we may be members of that one church. God grant that we may throw ourselves into this Thermopyla of the moral universe.'
But even then, we should have no fear that the church of God would be exterminated. We would call to re
membrance the years of the right hand of the Most High. We would recollect there was once a time, when the whole church of Christ, not only could be, but actually was, gathered with one accord in one place. It was then 5 that that place was shaken, as with a rushing mighty wind, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. That same day, three thousand were added to the Lord. Soon we hear, they have filled Jerusalem with their doctrine. The church has commenced her march :-Samaria 10 has, with one accord, believed the gospel; Antioch has become obedient to the faith; the name of Christ has been proclaimed throughout Asia Minor; the temples of the gods, as though smitten by an invisible hand, are deserted; the citizens of Ephesus cry out in despair, Great is 15 Diana of the Ephesians; licentious Corinth is purified by the preaching of Christ crucified. Persecution puts forth her arm to arrest the spreading superstition; but the progress of the faith cannot be stayed. The church of God advances unhurt amidst racks and dungeons, persecutions 20 and death; she has entered Italy, and appears before the wall of the Eternal City; idolatry falls prostrate at her approach; her ensign floats in triumph over the capitol; she has placed upon her brow the diadem of the Cæsars.
LESSON XXIV.-POWER OF THE SOUL.-R. H. Dana, sen.
For whatsoe'er it looks on, that thing lives,-
5 For the Soul's health, or, suffering change unblest,
And answers, thought to thought, and heart to heart
Yès, man reduplicates himself. You see, 10 In yonder lake, reflected rock and trèe.
Each leaf at rést, or quivering in the air,
Above, below, each grain distínct and bright.
-Thou bird, that seek'st thy food upon
And see we thus sent up, rock, sånd, and wood, Life, joy, and motion from the sleepy flood? The world, O man, is like that flood to thèe: Turn where thou wilt, thyself in all things see Reflected back. As drives the blinding sand 10 Round Egypt's piles, where'er thou tak'st thy stand, If that thy heart be barren, there will sweep The drifting waste, like waves along the deep, Fill up the vàle, and choke the laughing streams That ran by grass and brake, with dancing beams, 15 Sear the fresh woods, and from thy heavy eye Veil the wide-shifting glories of the sky, And one, still, sightless level make the earth, Like thy dull, lonely, jòyless Sòul,—a dèarth.
The rill is túneless to his ear who feels
30 With kindred fiends, that hunt him to despair.
Sóul! fearful is thy power, which thus transforms All things into its likeness: heaves in storms 35 The strong, proud séa, or lays it down to rest,
Like the hushed infant on its mother's brèast,—
LESSON XXV.-HYMN OF NATURE.-W. B. O. PEABODY.
[To be marked for Inflections.]
God of the earth's extended plains!
Where man might commune with the sky:
That lowers upon the vale below,
Hath summon'd up their thundering bands:
The grandeur of the lonely tree,
Lifts up admiring eyes to Thee;
When, side by side, their ranks they form,
Where summer breezes sweetly flow,
The fierce and wintry tempests blow:
That hardly lifts the drooping flower,
How gloriously above us springs
Suspended on the rainbow's rings!
The beauty of its praise to Thee.